Now that squatting is a criminal offence on residential premises and punishable with up with six months in prison and/or a fine of up to £5,000, there is a growing concern that all squatters will move over to occupying commercial buildings instead. Empty offices, industrial premises and construction sites are seen as useful targets for travellers and squatters. Particularly when there is a lack of security and ease of entry. Find out our top tips on how to prevent squatters and trespassers on your construction site.
Make sure that all doors leading into the construction site or property are fully sealed and locked when no one is using them. Maybe even go as far as using solid steel security doors and checking all fire exits are secure. Keep in mind with fire exits that you only have one catch and no locks. Unless a trespasser or squatter is prepared to break through walls in order to get a place to sleep for the night, the security door should do the job.
It is also worthy to mention that all windows should be protected with steel and anti-tamper fixings instead of plywood and Philips screws. Steel might not add to kerb-appeal, but neither will a squatter waving from a window.
Make sure to purchase various alarms to alert you if there are any intruders onto your construction site or building. Wireless CCTV cameras and alarm systems are best used when the construction site is empty and any unauthorised activity can be responded to in minutes if need be. Otherwise, you can wait until the next day to get reinforcements and flush the squatters out.
If you do find people on your construction site or in your property that you are finding hard to remove, think about the utilities that are available in the building. If you are able to turn off all utilities such as water, gas and electricity, it is going to be a very unpleasant place for people to try and live. Especially in the winter!
Skylights are not only good for your evening workers on a construction site, but they are also likely to scare off any intruders for fear of being seen by security guards and/or CCTV. It is also important to remember to secure all of your skylights since most of us learned how to climb trees as children, we also learned how to fall. Sky-lights are a long way up and the surface below is likely to be concrete. This will prevent accidents happening on your construction site from your workers and intruders who may feel the need to climb.
Carry out regular inspections to check it’s all in order – and log them all. You will then know what rooms are clean and what rooms have been used by squatters or trespassers (through the rubbish that has been left behind or signs of usage) and can, therefore, go about setting that room up with better security equipment to prevent it from happening in the future.
By making sure you stick to these five recommendations, you will make it a lot harder for squatter and trespassers to get on to your construction site and making it their home for the night. It is also important to keep up to date with all of the latest security technology to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your construction site safe.